In September I spent the weekend up north in a place called Seoraksan. You might remember my posts with pictures and stories about watching the sunrise with my new German friend, my celebrity photo-shoot on the mountain, and being adopted by the hiking group and nick-named "Chicago!"... Here are the links back to those posts:
This past weekend, I returned to Seorak Mountain and this time I brought Jane with me. It was a perfect weekend to escape the busy city.
Seorak Mountain is known to have the best autumn colors. We were not disappointed!
But wait...I'm getting ahead of myself...
We arrived on Saturday night and took a nice walk along the fish market pier. It's a bustling place on a Saturday night. We watched as people chose their perfect fish from the tanks, and then the salespeople would take it out of the water, slam it with a metal baseball bat, and then they'd prepare it for cooking. It's not the most delightful scene to watch...
But the atmosphere as a whole is really fun. I wish I enjoyed seafood. They were roasting clams right over the grill, and some of the other plates of food looked intriguing.
We watched this woman gut a few fish for eating. She's not kidding around with that knife! Her movements were quick and perfect, like a perfected art!
Jane and I thought about choosing this fish for our dinner! What do you think? Doesn't he look yummy!???
Next morning we woke at 6:00 to watch the sunrise over the East Sea.
Neither Jane nor I are morning people so it was not so easy to get our butts in gear and to the beach on time.
But it's oh so worth it!
It was actually the most curious sunrise I've ever seen. The sky lightened into morning, but the sun rose as this single little neon dot. It looked fake at times, like someone had painted a dot on a screen backdrop. Perhaps it was the smog that muted the brightness, but you could stare at the sun as it rose.
It was so calming.
After eating some oatmeal and drinking french-pressed coffee at the hostel, we packed our picnic lunch and embarked on our journey into the park.
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. It was awesome!
Jane has heard all of my stories about people's kindness to me. She laughs at my stories of becoming famous, and about people adopting me on the mountains. We were only about 20 minutes into the hike when we stopped at this camp for a quick drink of water. A woman approached me and said "Excuse me...these men over here think you're very beautiful..." Ha! It was funny! I looked over at a table of old men drinking soju and grinning at me. I think Korea is the best place in the world for my self esteem!
This time I enjoyed taking pictures of random people. While the hiking is amazing, I also really enjoy watching the Koreans in their own little world. They are often dressed to kill in their pristine hiking gear. I am convinced that they iron their hiking clothes before they wear them. And they carry every fancy gadget imaginable from tin cups to collapsible tables, picnic mats, and walking sticks. They are serious hikers!
There was quite a bit of smog which was frustrating, but the views were still breathtaking.
And we made it to the top of Ulsanbawi Rock!
Check out my hair!!! Ya know, I try so hard to get a style like this for every day but it never cooperates. Too bad, cuz it's pretty babe-a-licious isn't it?
These people also made it to the top. I couldn't resist taking their picture. They were so funny!
The best family photo ever! Look at the lady with big black hair and bug-eyed sunglasses. Hot mama!
It was windy and cold at the top.
We packed an awesome picnic lunch. Jane made some rice thingy's, and we had clementines, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatos, and bacon-lettuce wraps. We sat up at the top and relaxed with our lunch before heading down the mountain.
And again...another fantastic hairstyle for April!
...and down we go!
There was a goat! I was so excited! This is the first wildlife I've seen in Korea!
...still going down...
And now for the grand finale of color!
Tired bodies, exhausted bodies, ready-to-be-back-in-Seoul bodies...Jane and I watched the sunset on the Sea, finished our picnic for dinner, and rested while waiting for our bus.
I enjoyed watching these two girls play.
And this concludes our weekend getaway!